June 24, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 10 • $1.50
Jeannelle Scheper wins high jump national title ACTION REQUIRED: (disregard if you’ve done so) Don’t miss a single issue of Spurs & Feathers (please visit page 5)
2 • Spurs & Feathers
Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.
Contact Us: 326 Rutland Drive N.W. PO Box 456 Aiken, SC, 29801 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor email@example.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 email@example.com Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Kyle Heck Photographers Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Mary Watson Graphic Designer Cover Design Brian Hand (photo by Brian Hand of Scheper - left - and her coach Delethea Quarles talking with the media) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 20 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to February, bi-weekly in March, monthly in April, bi-weekly in May, bi-weekly in June, monthly in July and bi-weekly from August-December. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in April and one in August. The annual subscription price is $50 for non Gamecock Club members. Members of the Gamecock Club receive a discounted subscription as a member benefit. Spurs & Feathers is published by Aiken Communications, Inc., 326 Rutland Drive NW, Aiken, SC, 29801-4010. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC Postmaster: Send changes to SPURS & FEATHERS, PO Box 456, Aiken, SC, 29802.
June 24, 2015
Upcoming Events: Gamecock Club
The Darlington County Gamecock Club Annual Summer Pool Party Will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the Henderson residence 1220 Fox Hollow Drive, Hartsville SC. Gamecock sideline reporter Langston Moore will be our guest speaker. Gamecock Club and Spurs & Feathers personnel will be in attendance to give you the latest. Cocky is also scheduled to appear with the Independence Bowl trophy. This event will be outdoors covered with swimming available. Social/swimming starts at 5:30 p.m. The meal will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by our guest speaker. Admission is $15.00 for adults and includes a steak meal. Children under 12 $5.00 (hot dog and chips). All Gamecock fans are invited to attend! For tickets or information contact Jimmy Griffin at (843) 332-8761 or email@example.com. 2015 Midlands Pre-Season Football Kickoff Hosted by Lexington County Gamecock Club (Featuring the University of South Carolina Assistant Football Coaches) When: Thursday, July 30th Where: Seawell’s Restaurant/Rosewood Drive/Columbia, SC Doors Open and Cocktail Time: 5:30-6:15 Buffet Opens: 6:15 Introduction of Speakers: 7:00 Information on Tables and Tickets for Football Banquet Coaches Tables (Front Row Seating with an Assistant Coach) $400 Includes total (9) seats (One for the Coach) Also Eight (8) Drink tickets Only 6 tables are left and available (2 tables already sold) Reserved Tables (Located Behind Front Row Tables) $300 Includes total of eight (8) seats Individual Tickets $30 Each (Sold through Board Members or Selected Ticket Outlets such as Mathias Sandwich Shop) Eventbrite On-Line Ticket Sells plus a Surchage $30 Each + ($30 plus Eventbrite Surcharge - visit Eventbrite.com and look up event) Individual Tickets Sold at the Door $35 Each (Limited Number Will Be Available) Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-608-2538 with questions.
Horry County Gamecock Club 20th Annual Golf Classic Will be held on August 8, 2015 at the Grande Dunes Resort Club. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start set for 9 a.m. The fee is $75 per player (includes green fee, cart fee, buffet lunch and a raffle; will be four-man, captain’s choice). Make checks payable to: Horry County Gamecock Club and mail registration to: Horry County Gamecock Club – 1202 Hart St. – Conway, SC 29526. Direct your questions to (843) 902-0558 or EMAIL - jmishoe@dew. sc.gov
Sixth Annual My Carolina Club of Charlotte Golf Tournament The event will be held at the Ballantyne Resort and all are welcome to attend. They provide golf, breakfast, lunch, adult beverages, gift prizes, and more. Golfers and sponsors are needed. Sign up online at http://www.mycarolina.org/s/842/site2014/interior-1col-noname.as px?sid=842&gid=1&pgid=6482&content_id=8454. Todd Ellis will be joining them along with other surprises. Charleston County Gamecock Club Upcoming events Join them for their annual Football Season Kick-Off Party! The event will be held at the beautiful Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation. Tickets include food, beer & wine. Drink tickets can be purchased for $4 for liquor drinks. Tickets are $30 in advance, $10 for kids 12 & under. Sticky Fingers will be catering - pulled pork BBQ and rotisserie smoked chicken served with Sticky Fingers Barbecue Sauces and sandwich buns. Barbecue Baked Beans and Homemade Cole Slaw. Live & Silent Auction: -Tickets for each home football game- including Clemson! -Tickets to the season opener in Charlotte vs. UNC Cocky & the Cheerleaders will be in attendance for photo ops Live music from MOXIE Guest Speakers Rain or Shine! SPONSORED BY: Prudential, Rick Hendrick Dodge, Palmetto Moon For more information, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-footballseason-kick-off-party-tickets-17435244285 Greenville County Gamecock Club 2015 Bus trips --Time and location for departure - TBA --Sign up today! First come, first served! Sept 3rd .. Bus trip to USC vs UNC in Charlotte, NC. $40 per seat Sept 19th .. Bus trip to USC vs Georgia in Athens, GA. $40 per seat Nov 7th .. Bus trip to USC vs Tenn in Knoxville, Tenn. $45 per seat *Price includes bus ride - box lunch - drinks - coolers are allowed call for info! *You may call and place your name on any bus trip! Contact T. Wayne @ 901-8462 or Dan @ 244-3739 Florence County Gamecock Club Upcoming events The Florence County Gamecock Club will hold their annual Kickoff Luncheon on August 27 and Tony Morrell of TheBigSpur.com will be in town. They will also present their proceeds from their golf tournament to Gamecock athletics that day.
Spurs & Feathers • 3
June 24, 2015
Sheila Foster proves Gamecocks stick together by kyle heck Reporter
Lake Bowman when the accident occurred. The teacher and her husband heard the wreck happen and her husband, who was previously in As Sheila Foster sat reading the newspaper the military, ran out into the lake to try and help one morning earlier this year, something out. It was already too late for Hartell, but the jumped out at her from the obituary section. husband was able to pull J.P. out of the water, It was a story about James Prescott Hartell, a saving his life. teacher at Spartanburg High School who was “The little boy was face down in the water killed in a jet ski accident on Lake Bowman. and his lungs were filling up fast,” Foster said. The accident also critically injured Hartell’s “But they got him back to the hospital where he son, James “J.P.” Prescott Jr. could go into surgery.” The story nagged at Foster, a coach and staff That turned out to be the first brain surgery member at Boiling Springs High School, long for J.P. after she finished reading it. One of the things After that conversation, Foster knew she had that stood out to her was the fact that the family to do something for J.P. and his family. was Gamecock fans. That meant a lot to Foster, “I kept reading that article and I said, ‘Lord, who starred as a basketball player at South we have to make something happen for this litCarolina from 1978-1982. She helped lead the tle boy. He’s just 10 years old,’” Foster recalled. Gamecocks to the Association for Foster then made a call to her Intercollegiate Athletics for Women friend Jay Brown, Assistant Director (AIAW) national semifinals in 1980 of the Gamecock Club, and asked and the school’s first ever appearance if he could get Cocky to come up to in the NCAA Tournament in 1982. the Upstate and make an appearance She is still South Carolina’s career for the boy. A week later, Brown leader in points and rebounds. called back to tell Foster that Cocky “Gamecock people, we’re like famwould be able to come up there one ily and we stick together whether you All Gamecock Saturday. know somebody or not,” Foster said. J.P., his family, the man who pulled basketball So Foster asked a fellow teacher if J.P. out of the water, nurses and coverage she had heard about the accident and sponsored by around 30 kids were some of the as it turned out, that teacher was at ones who were present when Cocky Yesterdays
photo courtesy of sheila foster
made his appearance for J.P, who had no idea what was about to happen. “It was just the greatest feeling in the world,” Foster said. “Everybody’s eyes were filled with tears. (The family) was so happy.” That appearance was just before J.P.’s second brain surgery, which turned out to be a success. Hardship is something that Foster is familiar with herself. She fought a battle with breast cancer and eventually overcame it and just celebrated one year of remission. She used that
experience to help J.P. with his own hardship. “When I held his hand and got ready to go, I told him, ‘you’re going to be alright, you’re one of God’s children,’” Foster said. “And he said, ‘yes m’am, I’m going to be alright.’ That tells you that he’s got strong faith.” While Foster didn’t know J.P. or his family before the accident, when she read his story, she knew something had to be done to help lift J.P.’s spirits after the traumatizing experience. Because Gamecock fans stick together.
4 • Spurs & Feathers
June 24, 2015
Havekost continues to make an impact for the Gamecocks by kyle heck Reporter
approached by Tanner and Jeff Crane, Senior Associate Athletics Director, to see if he was interested in taking a step up to help with the faOver two decades removed from setting recility renovations. After some thinking, Havekost cords for the South Carolina swimming and div- signed on, knowing that the move would put the ing team, Rick Havekost is still making a huge Gamecock swimming program in the upper echimpact for the Gamecocks. elon in the country when it came to facilities. His gift to the University largely allowed the “I think it will change the image of South Caroathletic administration to completely renovate lina swimming,” Havekost said. “It’s a beautiful the locker rooms at the Carolina Natatorium, facility. The impact that can make on an 18-yearlocated in the Blatt. Both the men’s and women’s old is huge.” locker rooms were expanded to provide more Havekost knows all about what it takes to draw than 4,000 square feet of new lockers, an updated in a top recruit, since he was one himself. Born in shower and dressing facilities, along with new Nebraska, Havekost was recruited by around 50 amenities for the coaching staff. New graphics on different universities coming out of high school. the walls of the locker rooms added some spice He soon narrowed it down to Nebraska and while also celebrating the history of South Caro- South Carolina. His dad played baseball at Nelina swimming and diving. braska and ultimately he decided that he wanted For Havekost, who the locker rooms were reto follow his dad and be a Cornhusker. named for, it was a long overdue transformation However, two years in, Havekost knew that that he says will pay dividends for the program. wasn’t the place for him. “When Ray Tanner took over as Athletics “I just realized that I needed to make my own Director, he toured the facilities with McGee legacy,” Havekost said. “South Carolina’s educaMoody, the head coach, and he knew within min- tional program, the weather and everything that utes that it was a total embarwas dear to me, it was just a fit.” rassment,” Havekost said. “That Havekost said he reopened launched a campaign to find a his recruiting after his sophoway to pay for the upgrades.” more year and looked at four Havekost initially donated or five other schools along with All Gamecock swimming and South Carolina. However, there enough to cover the graphdiving coverage sponsored was no question about where ics around the pool area but by Aquarian pools of Columbia he would end up to finish his soon after, he was once again
photos provided by the gamecock club
Above is a before (left) and after (right) look at the Carolina Natatorium locker rooms. career. “I knew I was going to end up at South Carolina,” Havekost said. So Havekost went to join the Gamecocks in 1989. During his senior year in 1991, Havekost was an All-American in the 50-yard freestyle and both the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay. He held the school record in the 500-yard freestyle until Zsolt Gaspar broke it in 2000. “It was just an overall good experience,” said Havekost, who added that nearly all of his friends that he swam with went on to have highly successful careers in their chosen fields, which showed how important it is to have a South Carolina education. Now, Havekost believes that the program now has the facilities to match the education and is looking forward to watching Moody and the
men’s and women’s programs do great things in the future. Havekost also says that he’s enjoyed watching Tanner and the rest of the athletic administration improve the facilities and amenities in the sports that aren’t the “big three” of football, basketball and baseball. A few examples of that include the equestrian team getting a locker room upgrade, the track and field teams’ recent groundbreaking for a new facility and the state-of-the-art outdoor facility for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. Overall, Havekost believes that the University is in a good place. “There’s been a complete transformation of the University from the time I was there,” Havekost said. “It is unbelievable the amount of things that are going on.”
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June 24, 2015
ACTION REQUIRED: (Disregard if you have done so already) Don’t miss a single issue of Spurs & Feathers
amecock Club members: Your membership to Spurs & Feathers is paid in full from your Gamecock Club dues and includes access to electronic versions of the publication and the printed newspapers and magazines. However, US Postal regulations require that you confirm your desire to receive the printed products via the US Mail to maintain bulk mail status. If you wish to access all the news and information provided by Spurs & Feathers as it happens via spursandfeathers.com, no action is required. To continue receiving the newspapers and magazines in the mail, you must opt-in and confirm that selection. You can do so by going to mailmyspurs.com or by calling 1.888.440.8062 toll free. Your response is required by July 15, 2015 to avoid any interruption to your mailed subscription.
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6 • Spurs & Feathers
June 24, 2015
In the know: South Carolina athletics notebook south carolina athletics media relations
Game times and TV networks set for first three football games The game times and network designations of South Carolina’s first three football games of the 2015 season were announced during the news and information show SEC Now on SEC Network. The 2015 season will open on Thursday, September 3, when the Gamecocks take on North Carolina in the Belk College Kickoff Game in Charlotte. Game time is set for 6 p.m. ET and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPN. North Carolina leads the all-time series between the bordering state flagship universities that dates back to 1903 by a 34-18-2 count, but the Gamecocks have won the last two and five of the last six meetings between the two schools, including a 27-10 win in Columbia to open the 2013 season. The Gamecocks’ home opener, scheduled for Saturday, September 12 against Kentucky, will have a 7:30 p.m. ET kick and will be televised on the SEC Network. South Carolina holds a 17-8-1 advantage in the all-time series with Kentucky, including wins in 13 of the last 15 meetings between the two SEC Eastern Division rivals. South Carolina will travel to Athens on Saturday, September 19, for its annual battle with the Georgia Bulldogs. ESPN will broadcast that game nationally, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Georgia holds the series lead, 47-18-2, but Carolina has won four of the last five meetings, including a 3835 win last season in Columbia. BOT extends Staley’s contract through March 2021 The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved a two-year contract extension and raise for women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley. Now with six years remaining on her contract, the two-time Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist received a $200,000 raise for her effort in lifting the Gamecocks to national prominence and in uniting the community and the state in support of her program. “Dawn Staley is an iconic figure, not just in women’s basketball but in all of athletics,” South
Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner said. “She has been successful in every step she has taken – as a student-athlete, college coach and USA Basketball coach. I believe that not only her on-the-court successes have made her great, but her efforts in the community and on campus have made her the leader she is today. Dawn is the type of coach that we want at the University of South Carolina, and I am glad that she is on our team.” With the raise, Staley is set to earn a guaranteed salary of $1.1 million for the 2015-16 season. The BOT also extended the $25,000 annual increase in Staley’s previous contract to continue through the additional two years. They also further reinforced their commitment to the program and its fans by reformatting the buyout structure with significant increases if Staley opts out of the contract at any point, more than doubling the original buyout amount for the next three years of the contract. “One of the things that has made a difference both for me professionally and for our program is the unwavering commitment from every part of our University to our success,” Staley said. “The Board of Trustees, President Pastides and Coach Tanner have consistently shown that they are invested in our program. Today’s particular commitment is important because the University also rewarded our assistant coaches and support staff, who are integral to what we have achieved on the court and off. I know we all consider our success in bringing together our University, our community and our state equally as important as the wins and NCAA Final Four appearance this season.” Through her seven seasons at South Carolina, Staley transformed the program from one that had finished among the SEC’s top five just twice in 11 seasons to one that has not finished outside the top five for the last five seasons. That run includes back-to-back regular-season championships (2014, 2015) and the program’s first SEC Tournament title in 2015. The Gamecocks have played in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in three of the last four years, including advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in program history in 2015, and ranked No. 3 in the
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new football outdoor practice fields beginning at 4 p.m., and the event is open to the public. The Gamecocks Chapter will continue its mission of raising awareness and research dollars for Pelizaeus Merzbacher, the chosen rare disease of the South Carolina. “Being able to take on the leadership role for the Uplifting Athletes Chapter here at USC has been a blessing. Going into our third year, this Lift For Life is shaping up to be even better than before,” South Carolina Chapter President Devin Washington said. “Each year we look to grow, and with the help of Gamecock Nation fans there’s not a doubt in my mind that this years event will be our biggest yet. “When you have the best fan base in the country you can’t help but expect the best support when it comes to a great cause such at Uplifting Athletes. I look forward to our 2015 Lift For Life and can’t wait to see Gamecock Nation supporting full force.” Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of 25 college football student-athlete led chapters. The South Carolina Lift for Life fundraising page features 10 unique teams that are comprised of 10 or 11 players from the 2015 football team. To support the South Carolina Chapter and help the Gamecocks reach their $5,000 goal, visit the Chapter fundraising site at give.upliftingathletes. org/southcarolinalift2015. Uplifting Athletes is a full service national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through research, outreach, education and advocacy. What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that our university chapters are run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain management and leadership skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact. Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases (such as Aplastic Anemia, cystic fibrosis, pediatric brain cancer, kidney cancer, Leukemia, Neimann Pick Type-C, Neuroblastoma,, Fanconi anemia, etc.). For more information about Uplifting Athletes, visit www.upliftingathletes.org.
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nation in the 2014-15 final polls. The four-year seniors graduating in 2015 amassed the most wins of any senior class in program history with 113. Transfer Allisha Gray chooses South Carolina South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Allisha Gray (Sandersville, Ga./Washington County) has signed a financial aid agreement to attend the University and play for the Gamecocks. Gray, who earned First-Team All-ACC honors last season at North Carolina, will have two years of eligibility beginning in 2016-17. “We are excited that Allisha has decided to continue her collegiate career as part of the Gamecock women’s basketball family,” Staley said. “Her hard work and intensity on both ends of the floor will be a great addition to our team as we continue to compete for championships.” Gray was the Tar Heels’ leading scorer last season with 15.2 points per game after finishing second on the team with 13.9 points per game as a freshman. Pulling down 8.2 rebounds per game in 2014-15, the six-foot guard was one of just two players in the ACC to rank among the top 10 in both points and rebounds, coming in 10th in scoring and ninth in rebounding. Included on midseason watch lists for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards, Gray was the Tar Heels’ top outside threat, shooting 30.9 percent from 3-point range last season after netting 41.8 percent from outside the arc as a freshman. She earned Second-Team Freshman All-America honors from Full Court and was an ACC All-Freshman selection in 2013-14, finishing among the ACC’s top 20 scorers and adding 5.5 rebounds in helping the Tar Heels to the NCAA Elite Eight. Gray joins fellow ACC transfers Sarah Imobvioh (Virginia) and Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech), as well as incoming freshman Shay Colley (Brampton, Ontario) in the Gamecocks’ 2015 signing class. Third annual Lift For Life event set for June 26 The South Carolina Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life event on Friday, June 26. The event will take place at the
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Spurs & Feathers • 7
June 24, 2015
Jeannelle Scheper jumps to glory by Kyle heck Reporter
finally realized what it meant. “I was in shock,” Scheper said. “I think I’m still in a little bit of shock.” After a second place finish in both the 2013 Scheper became the first Gamecock woman and 2014 NCAA Indoor High Jump competition, to win a national title since Natasha Hastings in senior Jeannelle Scheper was running out of time 2007 and the first jumper at the University, men to accomplish one of her main goals: winning a or women, to accomplish the feat. national championship. Scheper came to South Carolina as a 16-yearGoing into the 2015 NCAA Outdoor High old teenager from the small country of Saint Jump championship last week, Scheper had one Lucia. last opportunity to snatch a gold medal. “The facilities at home were pretty poor and This time, she wasn’t going to let it slip through opportunity-wise, after you finished high school, her fingers. you could go to community college for a couple As one of four finalists for the gold, Scheper years, but that’s about it,” Scheper said. “So I was was the first of the group to clear the 1.90 meter ready to jump on any opportunities that gave me mark. The other three jumpers needed all three something more than that.” attempts to try and accomplish the feat and KanSouth Carolina gave her that opportunity and sas State’s Kimberly Williamson was the only Scheper has developed into one of the best athone to succeed. letes in school history. Along with her national After both Scheper and Williamson missed title, Scheper is a five-time first-team All-Ameron their first two tries, Williamson failed on her ican and holds a SEC Championship in both the third and final attempt, meaning that Scheper indoor and outdoor high jump. would be crowned the national champion with“Anyone that knows the event knows that five out even trying her third jump. steps to the bar is very few steps, so we started It all happened so fast for Scheper that it took there to try and clear some high heights,” said awhile for her to realize what was happening. assistant head coach Delethea Quarles when It wasn’t until South Carolina Media Relations Scheper first arrived on campus. “We didn’t Coordinator for track and field Joe Kepler asked know that she was going to be as great as she is her how it felt to be a national champion that she but we knew that if she could clear this height
“The win was icing on the cake and a great way to complete the year.” Scheper will stay at the University to try and get a Master’s in Economics. As for her jumping career, she is preparing for the IAAF World Championships in August and has already qualiphoto by brian hand fied for the 2016 Olympics. with five steps, imagine what she could do after a Interestingly enough, Scheper will be competlittle time training.” ing for Saint Lucia while Quarles will be coachNow with a national title in hand, Scheper has ing the U.S. team at the World Championships. completed almost everything she wanted to at Despite that, Quarles will still be coaching and South Carolina. The only goal left on the table preparing Scheper for the games, except for on was to break her own personal record at the out- the day of competitions. “It’s a little bit weird, but it’s good to know that door championships. While she didn’t do that, she became one of only 21 women at the Univer- my coach is going in the same direction as I am,” sity to grab a national championship, and it came Scheper said. “I get to qualify for a huge meet and my coach gets to be the head coach for Team in her last collegiate event, no less. “It took some time to get to where I am mental- USA so she’s right up there with me.” ly,” Scheper said. “The two years that I came sec- While their athletic hopes now turn to the international level, both Scheper and Quarles were ond was a process mentally for me to overcome what I though was preventing me from winning. excited to garner such a huge accomplishment for South Carolina, the school that gave Scheper This year I had renewed confidence and lots of an opportunity that not a lot of other people from support from my family and the coaching staff that was always there with me. It has just been a her home country are able to get. “We bring this home with honor back to process to get to where I am now.” “We finished second quite a few times so to ac- Gamecock Nation for all that has been invested tually get the monkey off our back at this last out- in our program,” Quarles said. “We can only door competition was incredible and something thank Gamecock Nation for their support and we look forward to the Olympic games.” that we have been striving for,” Quarles added.
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8 • Spurs & Feathers
June 24, 2015
Looking ahead to the 2015 home schedule for the Gamecocks regular season with a 9-3 record, with losses A few columns ago I wrote about the challenge South Carolina will face on the road to Penn State, Missouri and UConn. On ofthis season. This week I review the home slate fense UCF lost just four senior starters - a wide which could be the key to a winreceiver, a tight end and two ning season for the Gamecocks. linemen. All three quarterbacks Kentucky: The Wildcats won return, as do all four running just five games last season, one backs. The defense lost just four of them, of course, against Carostarters as well, a tackle, two lina, but the UK administration linebackers and a strong safety. saw enough progress to award The 2015 recruiting class was Coach Mark Stoops a contract ranked 70th in the nation with extension. The offense lost five just one four-star signee. senior starters – a tight end, a LSU: The Tigers were 8-4 last tackle, two wide receivers and a season with all four losses to fullback. Both quarterbacks and conference teams, and they were Glenn Snyder four running backs return. On defeated by Notre Dame in the Inside defense the Cats lost four – two Music City Bowl. The offense Look ends, a tackle and a safety. UK’s lost four starters – both tackles, recruiting class was ranked 39th a guard and a tight end. Both in the nation (13th SEC), with two four-star quarterbacks and huge running back Leonard signees. Fournette (6-1, 230) return. The defense lost UCF: The Golden Knights finished the 2014 just two starters, an end and a safety. LSU’s
recruiting class was ranked 8th nationally (what’s new?) with four five-star and eight four-star signees. Vanderbilt: The Commodores won only three games last season, all non-conference matchups. The offense lost just two seniors – a center and a fullback. The defense lost one starter – a nose tackle – on a two-deep depth chart that had only three seniors total. The bad news for the Dores is that the 2015 recruiting class was ranked 46th nationally and dead last in the SEC. Florida: The Gators finished 7-5 last season in coach Will Muschamp’s last season, with four of the wins against league opponents. The offense lost four seniors – a center, a tackle, a tight end and a fullback. The defense lost five to graduation – three linebackers, a nose tackle and a safety. UF signed 21 players in the 2015 class, which ranked 23rd nationally, with two five-star and five four-star signees. The Citadel: The Bulldogs finished 5-7 last
season, their only “signature” win a victory over Furman. The Bulldogs lost just two seniors – a slot receiver and quarterback Aaron Miller. The defense lost five to graduation – a tackle, an end, a linebacker, a cornerback and a safety. As could be expected, The Citadel’s 10-man recruiting class was ranked 153rd in the nation, with just one three-star signee. Clemson: The Tigers ended the 2014 regular season with a 9-3 record, which included an impressive end to their five-year losing streak to the Gamecocks, and a win over Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl. CU lost six senior starters on offense – both guards, a tight end, a running back and a wide receiver, and QB Cole Stoudt, who filled in for the injured Deshaun Watson. The defense lost seven starters - both ends, both tackles, two linebackers and a safety. Rivals.com ranked Clemson’s recruiting class the 4th-best in the nation, with three five-star and nine four-star signees. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!
Anticipation for basketball season growing daily
Football season may be the next athletic sport stable.” just around the corner, but make no mistake, In case you haven’t noticed, one thing that the anticipation for Frank Martin has happened during Martin’s and the upcoming basketball tenure is the ability to step out season is growing by the day. to other regions of the country While it has been a work in to recruit players. This class will progress for three years, Martin include players from New Jersey appears poised to take the next (Chris Silva), Maryland (Jamall positive step forward. Gregory), Chicago (Raymond Martin recently joined JonaDoby), Florida (Eric Cobb) and than Reynolds and myself on of course South Carolina (P.J. our radio show “Reynolds and Dozier). Gunter” (shameless plug, listen The national approach is someon FoxSports Radio 1400am in thing that Martin is proud of Bill Gunter Columbia or FoxSports Radio because it has shown how well Contributing 1440am in Greenville). The conhis staff has done building relaWriter versation centered on the release tionships and forging bonds with of the program’s three new signhigh school and AAU coaches ees for the spring recruiting class. around the country. The addition of wing Jamall Gregory, center “From our time in the Midwest we built great Eric Cobb and forward Raymond Doby gives relationships,” he said. “The northeast corridor the Gamecocks five members of the 2015 class we have always had success from D.C. up to and has Martin feeling as confident in his ros- the New York area and we continue to go into ter as he has felt since he arrived in Columbia. those areas to get guys. Then Florida is my “I am real comfortable with our roster right home, it is Lamont Evans home, Perry Clark now,” Martin told us during our interview. has spent a lot of time in the southeast, Matt “We basically had to recruit a brand new team Figger has spent a lot of time in the south.” in our time here and when you sign 13 guys Even with the impressive recruiting haul over a two-year period, you are going to hit from outside the state, the group of players and miss a couple. It’s unfortunate but now that has joined the program from the Palmetto our roster should continue to be a little more State is as good as any previous coach has
photo of thornwell by jenny dilworth
brought in. The trio of Sindarious Thornwell, Marcus Stroman and P.J. Dozier were all coveted by national programs but elected to stay at home and play for Martin. The Gamecocks’ head coach credits his staff approach to building relationships for sealing off the borders. “The most important thing that we have been able to do is to be genuine as people,” Martin said. “That has allowed us to build relationships with folks in our state which has allowed us to protect our territory.” On a personal note, I have always loved the sport of basketball. I attended many games in the old Frank McGuire Arena with my father and enjoyed the last couple of seasons under Martin. With the talent that is being brought in and the roster I see Martin and the staff developing, I am more interested than ever to see what the 2015-2016 season holds. Judging by the response I get from talking with fans around the All Gamecock Columbia area and lisbasketball tening to Martin when coverage I speak with him, I feel sponsored by everyone is feeling the Yesterdays same way.
Spurs & Feathers • 9
June 24, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut
There were dozens of major football prospects on the USC campus last weekend for a pair of camps. The Gamecocks picked up a pair of commitments with one more possibly on the horizon. The Gamecocks landed 2016 DB JJ Givens (6-2 170) of Mechanicsville, VA and 2017 TE Will Register (6-4 230) of Chapin and they are close on adding 2016 OL Will Putnam (6-5 270) of Harrisburg, NC. ‘I feel like I can come here and have an instant impact playing DB, especially at the corner position because I’m long, lanky Phil Kornblut and versatile,” Givens said. Contributing “I definitely feel like I can Writer bring what South Carolina needs to be pushed over the hump.” Givens said he was also seriously considering Penn State, Arizona State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wake Forest and Ole Miss. He called his commitment “a 100 percent commitment.” Last season Givens in on 34 tackles and 4 interceptions. Register went to Clemson camp earlier last week and was offered by the Tigers. But growing up a Gamecock fan, all it took was the offer on Friday to seal his decision. “I’ve grown up here all around Gamecock football so I’m very happy with my decision and I feel like it’s definitely the right one for me. I’ve always wanted to be a gamecock football player and now I’ve got an opportunity I’m definitely excited.” Last season Register had 18 catches for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. Putnam was at the camp at USC. The Gamecocks were his only Power 5 Conference offer until Virginia Tech offered last week. He is going back to Virginia Tech Thursday, and he’s going to North Carolina for a recruiting event this Friday, so he has a little more think about. And he plans to return to USC next week. He said Sunday USC is his clear favorite. Charlotte 2017 OL Eric Douglas II attended USC’s camp and picked up his first offer from the Gamecocks. Douglas was blown away by the offer and that led to speculation by some close to him and in the media that he would commit soon to USC. But an offer from Clemson a day later after attending Clemson’s camp changed that. He had also been to Clemson for a junior day earlier in the year. The Tigers finally called with his second offer and now Douglas plans to let things play out a little while before making a decision. “They are my top two favorite schools,” Douglas said. “I will have to make more visits before I commit because whenever I do, I won’t decommit. South Carolina is #1 but Clemson is a close second.”
Douglas’ 2017 teammate OL TJ Moore also attended USC’s camp and was offered. He had a great experience and likes the Gamecocks but has Michigan as his current favorite. Douglas and Moore also plan to visit North Carolina and NC State. Among the visitors grabbing the attention of USC coach Steve Spurrier at the Gamecock Showcase was DB/WR Tre Jackson (5-10 178) of Baton Rouge, LA. His father and grandfather played at Florida. Jackson did not work out but Spurrier and his staff had enough information on him to make him an offer. Spurrier likes Jackson as a receiver but won’t keep him away from the defense if he decides to join the Gamecocks. “Coach Spurrier said he wants me to play receiver but when I get here it’s my decision,” Jackson said. “It was a real good experience. It was my first time being out here and I had a real good impression of the campus, academics, all the new facilities they are building and getting a good relationship with the coaching staff. They are probably one of my top schools right now.” Jackson also has camped at TCU. He also wants to visit North Carolina and Oklahoma this summer. He’s looking at making his decision the end of summer or around the start of football season. He said there’s a 90% likelihood he will take an official visit to USC this fall. He’s not as sure on any other official visits at this point. WR Kelvin Harmon of Palmyra, NJ camped at USC last week and this past Wednesday night he included the Gamecocks in his top six. The other five are North Carolina, Temple, Rutgers, West Virginia and NC State. “I had connections with the coaches and I really liked the programs,” Harmon said of his six favorites. He plans to take official visits before making a decision and USC will receive one. Harmon talked with his Gamecock recruiter GA Mangus Wednesday. “He was telling me stuff about South Carolina and how I can have a future there,” Harmon said. “I really liked it (at camp). Coach Spurrier Jr. is a good coach and I have a good connection with Coach Mangus. And I have a really good connection with (quarterback commitment) Brandon McIlwain.” Harmon has also been to camps at Rutgers, North Carolina and NC State and is finished with camps. He said he might take visits to some schools not in his top six this summer but doubt the six will change. RB Cade Carney (6-0 200) of Davidson, NC attended USC’s Showcase Camp Saturday but did not get an offer. He has rushed for 3800 yards and 43 touchdowns in his career. He has offers from Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest. USC offered RB Jordon Brown (5-10 190) of Durham, NC following his camp workout. Some of his other offers include NC State, North
Carolina, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Boston College and Appalachian State. “Coach Sands talked about how I had a great skill set and it’s something they can really use at USC. He would like to see me gain some more weight. That was a pretty good big offer. It’s an SEC school so that’s big. I don’t have a list and haven’t narrowed down my options.” Brown said Sands wants him to return for another visit. He said he will try to make it to West Virginia at some point. He wants to make his decision before the season and is on track to graduate early but is not sure if he will. Last season Brown rushed for 950 yards and had 550 yards receiving along with 26 total touchdowns. OL Jordan Johnson of Jacksonville worked out at USC’s camp and said he had a great time. He also went to Florida State and is headed to Florida Monday, June 22. He also is planning to camp at Georgia Tech. Johnson also visited USC for the spring game. He was offered by Virginia Tech last week and has nearly 20 offers. Johnson said he has no favorites but he said USC is recruiting him the hardest. LB Jeremiah Moon (6-4 206) of Hoover, AL was at USC’s camp. He also visited USC for the junior day in January. “They definitely are up there on my list,” Moon said. “I’ve built a great relationship with Coach Botkin. He sees me getting bigger and being able to play the WILL spot like I do at Hoover. He thinks I’ll be a good fit for their scheme.” Moon has offers from USC, Mississippi State, Minnesota, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Louisville and Georgia Southern. He’s also getting interest from Alabama and Auburn. “I’m very open right now but I’ll wind it down after I see how the Florida camp goes,” said Moon who will camp at Florida later this month. He also was at Mississippi State Sunday. LB Kash Daniel of Paintsville, KY camped at USC. He has the Gamecocks, Louisville and Kentucky on his list and now plans to announce on July 4th. Daniel spoke very highly of USC after his camp experience. He visited with Kentucky coach Mark Stoops on Wednesday, June 17. OL Landon Dickerson (6-5 295) of Hudson, NC has top three of USC, Virginia Tech and Tennessee. He was at USC’s camp and the Gamecocks remain firmly in the mix. “I’m wide open right now, it’s kind of up in the air. No one has stuck out as a front runner, at least not yet.” Dickerson won’t make a decision until after he takes some official visits this season, and then he could take some more visits after he makes a pledge. Florida State and Auburn are also making a push for him. USC RB commit CJ Freeman of Greensboro, NC did not make it to the Gamecock Showcase camp because of some family plans. Freeman
said he remains committed to the Gamecocks. WR Brad Hawkins Jr of Camden, NJ said after USC camp that USC and Michigan are tied at the top for him. OL Luke Elder of LaGrange, GA attended USC’s camp and now has the Gamecocks and North Carolina tied at the top of his list. Georgia Tech would be third on his list. He visited North Carolina last week and was at USC the week before that. “I know both have opportunities and I’m going to be willing to work and do whatever it takes to get in that spot. I can tell both really want me. I can feel the love from both of them.” 2017 RB Wesley Kennedy of Savannah attended USC’s camp and reported a 4.45 in the 40. 2018 WR Zion Keith of Wilson was at USC’s camp. 2018 DB Donavan Barnes of Savannah participated in USC’s camp and reported pulling in 7 interceptions. Other USC offers last week…2016 WR Calvin Ridley, DB James Pierre and DB Aaron Robinson of Deerfield Beach, FL; 2017 WR Jerry Jeudy of Deerfield Beach, F; 2017 WR Trey Blount of Powder Springs, GA; 2017 DL Dalyn Wade-Perry of Sparta, NJ; 2017 OL Noah DeHond of Hightstown, NJ. 2018 DL Josh Belk (6-3 320) of Lewisville. LSU also offered Belk last week. OL Akeem Cooperwood did not make it to USC Saturday. He said Shawn Elliott wants him to camp in July. OL Will Fries of Cranford, NJ committed to Penn State. USC also had offered. USC target OL Jakori Savage of Bay Minette, AL was offered by LSU at camp last week and committed. USC RB target Tre Turner of New Orleans committed to Arizona State. Basketball News: 6-6 target De’Riante Jenkins of Orlando visited USC last Saturday. The Gamecocks have not yet offered. Among his offers are Clemson, Indiana and Wake Forest. Baseball News: USC baseball coach Chad Holbrook is hitting up the junior college ranks with zest in his efforts to quickly return the Gamecocks to post season play. Last Saturday the Gamecocks landed a commitment from RHP Colton Provey (6-3 185) of Walters State JC, TN. He’s a teammate of Gamecocks 1B commit Ross Grosvenor and is the fourth junior college player to commit in this class. Provey pitched out of the bullpen last season. In 27 appearances all in relief, he had a 6-1 record with a 2.42 ERA and 10 saves. He struck out 62 in 48. 2 innings of work. The Gamecocks now have 16 pledges for the 2015 class not including the two commitments who were drafted earlier this week and plan to sign.
10 • Spurs & Feathers
June 24, 2015
A pair of Gamecocks bookend McKissick’s incredible 63-year run Bobby Bunch quarterbacked Summerville (Spurrier, by the way, has won 273 games be(S.C.) High School to a 27-7 win over Wade tween college and the pros, or roughly half that Hampton to begin the 1952 season. of McKissick.) Zack Bailey was a left tackle Among the many measureon the Summerville team that ments of McKissick’s longevity defeated Sumter 30-14 in the first is this: players from both his round of the 2014 state playoffs. first and last teams at SumTogether, they represent wins merville earned scholarships to number 1 and 621 in the legendSouth Carolina – 60 years apart. ary coaching career of John Bunch, McKissick’s first-ever McKissick. The nation’s allstarting quarterback, lettered at time winningest football coach, USC from 1955-58. Bailey, an McKissick announced his retireAll-State tackle and finalist for ment last week at age 88. In 63 South Carolina’s Mr. Football, seasons at Summerville, McKisis entering his freshman season sick won 10 state titles, amassing with the Gamecocks. an overall record of 621-156-13. Six decades may separate The tributes have poured in them, but their feelings on their from all over football, including former head coach would likely the University of South Carolina. be interchangeable. Andy Demetra “Coach McKissick is one of “Coach McKissick had the Inside the Chart the nicest gentlemen I know. ability to take those of us young He’s a smart coach and a good men and inspire us to do things coach – outstanding in everywe never expected we were able thing he did,” Gamecocks head coach Steve to do,” Bunch said. Spurrier said in a statement. “He was a winner. I’ve never heard him say
an unkind word about anyone. He was just a model individual for all young people who were around him at Summerville.” Now 79, Bunch still recalls his first meeting with McKissick in the fall of 1952. McKissick was replacing Harvey Kirkland, who had taken the head coaching job at Newberry College. “He said, ‘Bobby, I’m so happy to meet you. You’re my quarterback.’ Those were the first words he ever spoke to me,” Bunch remembered. Summerville only lost once in Bunch’s two seasons at quarterback, leading to a scholarship offer from USC head coach Rex Enright. Bunch became the Gamecocks’ starter in 1957,
where he led them to a 27-21 upset win over Texas his junior year. He also guided them to a 26-6 win over Clemson in 1958, a season that culminated in South Carolina’s first-ever final AP ranking. Bunch went on to become a naval pilot and longtime commercial real estate broker in the Lowcountry. All these years later, he still attributes much of his success in life to the lessons he learned under McKissick. He moved back to Summerville specifically so his three sons could play for him. “Of all the coaches I’ve played for, Coach McKissick by far was the finest,” Bunch said. Bailey, 60 years Bunch’s junior, would surely agree. Summer workouts and his status as a freshman rendered him unavailable for this article, but the 6’5,” 307-pound Bailey will ensure that McKissick’s legacy carries far beyond his 63 years on the sidelines. Spurrier, a coaching legend in his own right, spoke for many when summing up his feelings on John McKissick. Said the Head Ball Coach: “I’m going to certainly miss seeing him when I go by Summerville High School.”
Buchman’s efforts in the 2014 season along with the efforts of the top-notch coaching staff helped the program advance farther than ever before in the NCAA Tournament with the Gamecocks knocking off national power North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. in the Sweet Sixteen to advance to their first-ever Elite Eight. After the season was completed and as he was looking towards the next year, Buchman began formulating the idea of hosting a strength and conditioning camp at the University of South Carolina. “The idea came around because you see a lot of other teams do individual sports camps and I’ve researched and there are actually some strength and conditioning departments all over the United States - primarily (NCAA) Division I - that actually do full on summer camps,” Buchman stated. “The goal of our camp is to better educate coaches all the way from club soccer to high school and trying to give them those principles they might not see in more of the developing side.” Buchman’s inaugural summer strength and conditioning seminar will be held Sunday, July 19, 2015, at the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center. The cost is just $25 and the seminar is open to any and all entrants that are 18 and older.
Buchman along with South Carolina women’s soccer athletic trainer Stephanie Rosehart will present topics ranging from proper warm-up and cool down strategies to ACL reductions and prevention exercises. The seminar will end with an on-field practical session. There has already been a great response to the seminar. “It’s a wide variety of club coaches, high school coaches, college coaches, strength coaches (coming to the event),” Buchman said. Buchman, who will also be speaking at the South Carolina High School Soccer Coaches Association Clinic in July in Greenville, is overall just excited to be able to pass along some of the knowledge he has in the area. “A lot of the program I try to do is very similar to the programs they were talking about with what they were doing with the Sounders and the German National Team,” Buchman noted. “Ever since I came here to South Carolina I’ve been trying to study the game, how other players play, obviously the difference from the professional to the college game and the difference between the men’s and the women’s side and then just take those pieces and put them together.” To learn more about the summer strength and conditioning seminar, please visit https://carolinasoccerschool.com/strength.php.
Paul Zoeller for evening post industries
Strength and conditioning seminar designed to aid in development by brian hand Executive Editor
and performance manager David Tenney. Being antifragile basically means that an athlete has all the core concepts needed to be able Vince Lombardi once famously said that “the to adapt and change under any circumstance. In greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, the current landscape of sports specificity this but in rising again after you fall. The good Lord has become increasingly important. gave you a body that can stand most anything. While in Seattle, Buchman had the opportuIt’s your mind you have to convince.” nity to have breakfast with Darcy Norman, who This thought process is currently being reinworks at EXOS and is one of the fitness coaches forced in the world of strength and conditioning for the German national team, while also talking and sports science through the desire to build with those working in the Premier League and the anti-fragile athlete, which is broken off a to individuals in the field who have worked with concept from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. “Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder.” Buchman had the unique opportunity as well This past December, the Seattle Sounders FC to watch former Furman star and current Seattle of Major League Soccer brought together the Sounders and United States national team star brightest minds in sports science and perforClint Dempsey work out. mance training to explain many methodologies “He was actually in there working out,” Buchand South Carolina women’s soccer strength man relayed. “To see his age, how many games and conditioning coach Alex Buchman was able he’s played as far as the physical and mental to attend. aspects of club and national team duties and be Buchman obviously learned a great deal at the so in shape in his early 30s it was quite impresspecial event. sive.” “One of the themes that they had out there While in Seattle, Buchman was excited to is are you building a fragile athlete or an antisee that a great deal of the training concepts he fragile athlete? And that really starts with just was utilizing while preparing South Carolina the development age,” Buchman said of the women’s soccer in this area before and during principle developed for the world of soccer and their 2014 season was being used by some of the sports by Seattle Sounders FC sports science top teams around the world.
Spurs & Feathers • 11
June 24, 2015
Florence Golf Tournament a huge success
Three Gamecocks taken in MLB Draft
by kyle heck Reporter
by kyle heck Reporter
Several big names from the coaching staffs of various South Carolina athletic programs converged in Florence for the eighth annual Florence County Gamecock Club Golf Tournament on June 1. Underneath perfect skies, 26 teams participated in the tournament that raises money that will be used to go toward the Gamecock Club and the athletics department. The biggest contingent came from the football team. Quarterbacks/tight ends coach G.A. Mangus, running backs coach Everette Sands, defensive line coach Deke Adams, co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward and linebackers coach Kirk Botkin all spent the day at the Florence Country Club. In addition, head men’s basketball coach Frank Martin, head volleyball coach Scott Swanson and equestrian associate head coach/ western coach Ruth Sorrel were in attendance. “The turnout was wonderful,” said Florence County Gamecock Club president Michael “Scat” Scaturro. “We had fun with all of them and had a very good day.” The club also held a silent auction that featured game-used pylons signed by head football coach Steve Spurrier, basketballs and shoes signed by Martin, footballs signed by former star Marcus Lattimore and baseball memorabilia signed by athletics director Ray Tanner and head baseball
Three Gamecocks were taken in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. Senior first baseman Kyle Martin was a fourth round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies, while junior pitcher Jack Wynkoop was a sixth round choice of the Colorado Rockies. Junior infielder Max Schrock was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 13th round. Martin easily had the best season of his career in 2015, winning the team Triple Crown and finishing the year as a first-team All-American. The first baseman led the Gamecocks with a .350 batting average, 14 home runs and 56 RBIs. He also sported an impressive .635 slugging percentage and .455 on-base percentage while stealing 11 bases in 12 attempts. Offense wasn’t Martin’s only specialty as he was one of the leaders on defense as well, making just one error all season while recording a .998 fielding percentage. According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, Martin signed with the Phillies for $200,000. Wynkoop proved to be Mr. Reliable in the past three years with the Gamecocks. The Virginia Beach, Virginia native made an impact as soon as he stepped on campus, putting together a Freshman All-American season. This past season, Wynkoop ranked second on the team with a 3.27 ERA while winning a teamhigh eight games in 14 starts.
(Left-to-right) is Ray Evans, G.A. Mangus, Florence County Gamecock Club President Scat Scaturro and Dylan Thompson. coach Chad Holbrook. Scaturro said they raised an initial $1,500 from the silent auction and expect to raise close to $20,000 once all of the merchandise is auctioned off. That money will primarily be donated to help the cheerleading squad, head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley’s charities and the equestrian team. Overall, Scaturro said the tournament went smoothly and was a success for everyone involved. “It was a Chamber of Commerce day,” Scaturro said. “The golf course was great and I think we all had fun. We’re looking forward to doing it again next year.” To learn more about the Florence County Gamecock Club, you can like their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/FlorenceCountyGamecockClub.
Perhaps his best performance as a Gamecock came on April 17, when he tossed his first career complete game in a 5-2 win over No. 1 Vanderbilt. Wynkoop allowed two runs on 10 hits while striking out a career-high 12 batters in that contest. Wynkoop has decided to sign with the Rockies despite having one season of eligibility left. According to MLB.com he received a signing bonus of $298,900. Despite battling injuries throughout most of the past two seasons, Schrock was still able to put together an outstanding past three years as a Gamecock. While again battling injuries this past year, Schrock put together perhaps his best season as a Gamecock. In 51 games started, Schrock hit a career-high .328, which was tied with Elliott Caldwell for second on the team, to go with six homers and 34 RBIs. He also recorded career-highs with a .500 slugging percentage and a .419 on-base percentage. Schrock was named second-team All-SEC. At the time of our printing, Schrock had not decided to come back to school All Gamecock baseball or sign with the coverage sponsored by Nationals. DiPrato’s
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12 • Spurs & Feathers
June 24, 2015
Moore: ‘Don’t go towards the light’ The first half of the summer session is over. top ten hits on you. This practice will save you The season is less than 90 days away as I write not only on the field but off it as well. So many this article and we can start to see a glimmer of times we only see the difficulties coming that are hope that football will return soon. For the play- in front of us and forget about those other things ers doing all the heavy lifting, lurking, trying to knock you off. they can start to feel like they’ve During the off-season you can made it to the finish line with the lose sight of What’s Important season being so close. Most of the Now (WIN) and end up being guys have been working in the knocked off course. Being aware classroom and the weight room of all the little things occurring for the last 4-6 weeks. Results in one’s life and staying on top are beginning to show, but it’s of them is paramount; ie school, important that the players underworkouts, personal life all have stand that they cannot backslide an effect on your preparation and for one minute. Everyone can see performance. Be on the look out the transformation happening for those traps and crack back and this can suck players into a blocks so you don’t end up on the Langston Moore bad mind state and a false sense sidelines seeing stars. Contributing of security. They have to press on Writer through another month of sumbig ME=BIGGER TEAM mertime distractions to make it to - We touched on this idea a little training camp in pristine shape. We look at some in last month’s article about being selfish enough tips and tools to help navigate the way for these to make yourself the best you can be. One of players through the final summer session. the first items given to me when I first arrived at Carolina was a grey workout shirt with “TEAM” Keep your head on a swivel - We hear this in big bold letters and “ME” in very small letphrase on the football field over and over from ters. This shirt was worn by every guy that entire our coaches, giving players a warning to always summer to serve as a reminder that the team is be aware on the field. Be aware of someone try- bigger than “me.” That shirt also reminded us ing to seek you out and lay one of those ESPN that a whole bunch of “me’s” make up that team,
so if you want a TEAM that plays BIG and performs BIG you need to make yourself bigger. Not just in the weight room physically but become BIGGER in all areas, in your preparation; eating habits, studying etc … The bigger the ME you can become the better off the team. Take advantage of being unknown - I had a teammate in the NFL who would always say he would rather be a surprise than a disappointment. This would always intrigue me because this 6’6 330lb guy could never surprise anyone at anytime because he was so massive, but I later saw his point. Everyone looks for the “big dog” on the team and makes sure they account for them sliding the line and changing the plays to avoid them, just think of #7’s last season at Carolina. JD would garner the attention of everyone before the snap and his numbers showed it, but other players took advantage of it (Kelcy Quarles ended the season with 9.5 sacks). Being unknown is a great spot to be in mentally as well for a player, because you don’t have to worry about all the hype and expectation. That frees one up to just go out there and play loose. As we roll into the second half off the summer conditioning/offseason program it’s important for players to remember that you haven’t done anything yet. Yeah you may have lost some
weight, improved your bench, or gotten back on track by taking summer school classes, but none of that guarantees us a win come fall. Many players at this stage feel great physically and mentally and start to backslide on all the little things that brought them to this point. One of the greatest lessons I learned from sport went something like this: “you look back on your achievements and accomplishments after you are done playing.” Why? Because we can all get lost in the excitement of “ look how far I’ve come” or become overwhelmed with “look how far I have to go.” Both perspectives can take you out of the present moment and deter your progress to the top. That’s why these three nuggets of wisdom mentioned are important to apply at this time of the offseason.You can never judge life, a game, or any situation because its always an ongoing process of constant unfoldment. Rod Maranelli would remind our team of this when I played in Detroit: “forget the light at the end of the tunnel when you see it, you must keep digging, admiring the light leaves you stuck in the hole.” Keep digging, keep going, the season is almost here!!! Forever to Thee... Follow Langston Moore on Twitter at: @reMovetheChains #justachicken #eat2win #yoby
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June 24, 2015
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June 24, 2015
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The past gets us excited for the future fic for what seemed hours. It wasn’t long before With the passing of Dusty Rhodes, a professional wrestler from back in the good ol’ days Tad started to complain on needing to go to the when wrestling was “real,” I was taken back to bathroom. I was fine, but he was in tears and there my youth. was nowhere to go. The TV wrestling was something that my I suggested the huge roadside pipe that was sitbrothers and I enjoyed with our father. We all had ting on the side of the road. This was actually a our favorites and discussions on just how real it joke on my part, but he took it seriously. He got was. My brother Robert is very proud of the fact out of the car and left me in charge of driving if that he showed me how real it was in the early for some reason we started to move. 80s with a heart punch that knocked the breath As luck would have it, the traffic suddenly took out of me (it will make his summer that I even off. I couldn’t just sit there and there was no place mentioned here). to pull off. I think I fired off a warning honk and I suppose that aside from the actual playing of started moving with the flow and it was now the sports while we were growing up, the longmoving pretty quickly. term fun is the memories. We can It was a long pipe and as I pulled only participate for a short time, up to the end, out shot Tad like a but the memories last forever. rocket and ran up beside the car Being that it’s summer with and jumped in. We managed to school out and vacations being park pretty much right beside the taken, I thought it would be a good stadium in the woods. time to relive a memory from a Carolina took a 14-7 lead into Gamecock game of the past. That’s halftime. In those days you could what gets us excited for the upcomgo out to the car and tailgate at ing season is past successes. halftime in Clemson. That was One of my best friends is Tad pretty convenient I thought. We Barber who is Broker-in-charge of just made it back for the second Ed Girardeau the agency where I hang my real half kickoff, which the GameContributing estate license. Tad graduated from cocks received. Editor Clemson in 1981, but he overlooks Brandon Bennett fielded it just me and I him, and we get along short of the goal line and crossed very well, most of the time. the 10 where he stopped and threw the ball across In fact, in 1994 Tad decided that we should go to the field to Reggie Richardson, who caught it the game in Death Valley together using his two cleanly and proceeded down the sideline with a tickets. I didn’t think it to be a great idea, however, wall of blockers just like it was drawn up in the it would be a different experience, so I agreed. playbook. We left that morning with Tad driving in what Richardson cut back at the 10 and tripped over we thought would be in plenty of time to get Darrel Nicklow, his own blocker, and went down there. If you have ever made the trip to Clemson, around the six. On the first play, Bennett took the traffic can become awful and you can be parked pitch to the right and went in untouched for the miles away from the stadium if you don’t know touchdown and a 21-7 lead. what you’re doing, but not on this day, as Tad was Carolina would go on to win 33-7 in one of the going to park us right next to the stadium. more convincing wins at Clemson. Needless to Unfortunately, in order to do that we sat in traf- say, my buddy Tad was not very happy.
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Since it was not going to be any fun to just sit there and hang with him, I made him get up and we went and found his brother David, who is a USC graduate, and we spent some time at his tailgate. We eventually did make it over to the Esso Club. I remember there was a band there and Tad tried to get them to let me sing with them. Fortunately, the band said no, so we made a long trek back to our parking place. Along the way, we passed many happy tailgaters, but when we arrived at the car, right across from us were a couple of famous participants from the day’s game. Bob Fulton and Jim Phillips were celebrating Bob’s final call of a USC game. At halftime, Clemson had honored Fulton with a plaque, a jersey and ride around the stadium. It almost made me like the Clemson fans at least for a moment. We walked over and visited with Bob and Jim for a little while. I had gotten to know Fulton while I attended USC and worked in radio and television. There was not a nicer person than Bob Fulton. I also was able to have a long conversation with Jim Phillips which was the only time I was able to meet him. He was extremely cordial and talked about how good of friends he and Fulton were. I remember how proud he was of Clemson for sending him off so well and though he
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